Well, here we are again – Lockdown 3.0. It turns out that 2020 has spilled over rather neatly into ’21, which shouldn’t be a surprise, and yet I, and so many others, had such high hopes for the new year. Alas!
I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t enjoy homeschooling during the first lockdown – I was in my element organising and crafting and receiving praise from the teachers, but the novelty seems to have worn off and I now find myself drowning in a chaotic muddle of a puddle. I have just spent the best part of the morning trying to squeeze some writing out of sprog #1. With every word that he wrote, and sometimes with each letter, my darling son flopped back in such theatrical despair that he wouldn’t look out of place in a Glyndebourne opera. Meanwhile, sprogs 2 & 3 were dancing manically around us whilst throwing cushions and chanting, “I am hungry” in unison, over and over again. Which, in turn, led to #1 declaring that this was “the worst day ever!” – a popular refrain of his!
Still, it was an improvement on the rest of the week.
It really is a miracle that we can get any work out of kids that are still high on Christmas. They’d much rather be playing with their new toys, as would I! Thankfully, they are all still young enough to be set work that is, for the most part and in my view, fun. Sprog #2 is learning about The Three Little Pigs and has been tasked with creating her own little houses out of straw, sticks and bricks, which she can use to act out the story. The teacher has asked us to source some pigs and a wolf, so I have raided our Toy Story collection and found 3 Hamms and 1 Rex (the closest I could find to a wolf). I should add here that making anything out of straw or twigs is almost impossible and it didn’t take long for my daughter to lose interest and leave me arting and crafting alone while she turned her attention back to Disney+.
It’s a similar story across the board. Online lessons result in me having to turn our camera to ‘off’ in a vain attempt to hide the fact that my child has wandered off and I am now sitting in their place learning about 3D shapes and tricky red words. Phonics is fun and games, having turned the English language to mush and Maths has ditched the term ‘units’ in favour of ‘ones’ – a simple shift, and yet I can’t help reverting back to the good old ways!
One week in, despite the many obstacles, I finally feel as though I am getting back in the swing of it. It doesn’t take long for my old studious self to emerge from the shadows, I just wish I could garner the same enthusiasm from my kids!